Mike Putnam

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Why I love BarCamp

Think back to your earliest encounter with the World Wide Web. Do you recall that sense of wonderment, intrigue, and mystery about what this Internet thing had in store? Every first-click on a hyperlink could be taking you to something fantastic (or terrible); you never really knew. This is still true of the web. Hunting around in the infinite ever-changingness for my own diamonds-in-the-rough continues to be a part of my life so many years later.

What does this have to do with "BarCamp"?

For me, BarCamp is just like the wonderful, nebulous WWW. I go with a sense of excitement to see what I can learn, contribute, who I will meet, what new ideas I will come away with or perhaps give someone else. The very nature of an "unconference" is a meetup of people open to the unknown, hoping to find or create some bit of knowledge or share an idea about something that interests them. Just as with the web, you may encounter sessions or discussions about topics that do not interest you and just as with the web, you can click the back button and continue your journey along some other path. If you don't like a session, get up and move your two feet to the next one that you do like. It's expected!

For this reason, I heartily encourage you to seek out the next BarCamp you can attend and do so.

If you can find yourself in the Milwaukee, WI area this weekend (Oct 1st-2nd 2011), I'll see you at BarCampMilwaukee!

P.S. Efforts are afoot to organize a possibly roving BarCampFoxValley to be held somewhere near the Fox River Valley of Wisconsin. Join us!

P.P.S. While already past, BarCampMadison was a great time and worth adding to your calendar for 2012.